Of cabbages and dukes

The following conversation (more or less) took place, albeit without hyperlinks, as Jen and I were driving through Oxfordshire on our way to visit Ann and Bill on Saturday:

R: Ooh, look, a sign for Blenheim Palace!
J: What about it?
R: Winston Churchill was born there.
J: Was he?
R: Yes, Blenheim Palace is the Churchill family's ancestral seat. It's owned by the Duke of Marlborough. He's one of their lot.
J: Is he?
R: Yes. Blenheim Palace was named in celebration of the Battle of Blenheim, where the First Duke of Marlborough totally snotted the French.
J: Is that right?
R: …He was allergic to cabbage, you know?
J: Are you making this up?
R: No, it's just one of those bits of trivia I happen to know: the First Duke of Marlborough was allergic to cabbage.
J: Are you absolutely sure you're not making this up?
R: No, I'm not making it up: it was in a book of trivia that Irish Mick owned when we were at school. It said the First Duke of Marlborough was allergic to cabbage, and that Birmingham has more miles of canals that Venice.
J: …So was he just allergic to cabbage, or was he allergic to the brassica family as a whole?
R: How the bloody hell should I know?
J: Well you knew about the bloody cabbage!

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Do Ann & Bill actually live in Balamory or were they just visiting? I notice that Ann has a very nice pearl necklace & Bill has a lovely smile.

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